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TAE

PUBLISHER

TO

THE

READER,

THrs

excellent and elaborate

" Treatise of

the

Pope's

Supremacy,'

which

I

here present thee

withal,

the

learned

author

of

it

upon

his

deathbed

gave

me particular permissionto publish, with this modest

character

of

it,

that

"he

hoped

it

was

indifferent perfect, though not

altogether

as

he intended it, if

God

had granted him longer

life."

He

designed, indeed,

to have transcribed

it

again,

and

to have filled

up

those

many

spaces

which were purposely

left in

it

for

the farther

con-

firmation

and illustration

of several

things by

more

testimonies and

instances, which

probably he had

in his

thoughts; and

it

would cer-

tainly

have added much to

the

beauty and

perfection of

this

work

had

it

pleased

God

that

he

had

lived

to

finish

it

to

his

mind

and

to

have given

it

his last hand.

However,

as

it

is,

it

is

not

only

a

just

but

an admirable

discourse

upon

this

subject, which

many others have handled

before,

but

he

has exhausted it,

insomuch

that

no

argument of

moment, nay,

hardly any

consideration properly belonging to

it

has

escaped his

large

and

comprehensive mind.

He

has said enough to

silence

the

controversy for

ever,

and to deter all

wise

men, of both

sides, from

meddling any farther with

it.

And

I

dare

say,

that

whoever shall carefully peruse

this Treatise

will

find

that

this point

of

the

pope's supremacy (upon which Bellar-

mine

hath the

confidence

to say

the

whole

of Christianity depends)

is

not

only

an

indefensible

but

an impudent

cause,

as

ever

was

under-

taken

by learned

pens.

And nothing

could have

kept it

so

long

from

becoming ridiculous

in the judgment

of

mankind

but

its

being

so

strongly supported by

a

worldly

interest;

for

there

is

not

one tole-

rable argument

for it,

and there are a thousand

invincible reasons

against

it.

There

is

neither

fromScripture, nor

reason,

nor antiquity,

any

evidence

of

it;

the

past and

the

present state

of Christendom,

the

histories

and

records

of

all

ages,

are a perpetual demonstration

against

it;

and there

is no

other ground in

the

whole

world

for

it

but

that

now

of

a

long time

it

hath

been,

by

the

pope's janizaries,